Saturday, July 27, 2013

Unintentional Sampling

 I was cruising along with Johann D., getting in the groove of the pattern, marveling once again that I neglected to turn the threading upside down so I could see the weaving right side up.  I wove about four inches, then noticed how stiff the weaving was.  And a couple of threads broke.  And the stupid floating selvedges weren't exactly floating. In fact, they were giving me a lot of trouble.
  So, I cut it off.  Call it a sample!  Feel virtuous!  Because I don't normally sample, but I always admire people who do.  In my advanced years, I've begun knitting swatches before I start projects, so maybe someday, I'll start planning for weaving swatches.  Today is not the day, but since it happened serendipitously (great word, isn't it?), I thought I'd just go with it.
  I cut off what I'd woven so far and flipped it over.  Lovely!  Way too stiff, so I changed the reed from a 10 dent with 3 threads per to a 12 dent with 2 threads per.  I thought briefly about completely rethreading, but couldn't bear it, especially since the lease sticks were already out.  I just threaded the floating selvedges into the tabby selvedges so they wouldn't float anymore, even if they felt like it.  I noticed a wide float from where I backed up two sections of the pattern on the sides, and inserted an extra tie down thread to keep them apart.
 You can see I gained about 1 1/2" in width in the new version.  I wove about 2 more inches and then noticed that the left side was pulling in way too much.  Stood up and took a good look and saw 3 broken threads.  That was yesterday morning before work.  I got up, poured another cup of coffee and thought.  I went to work and intermittently thought some more.  I came home and wound two bobbins of thicker black bamboo to act as guard threads.  When I went to weave them in, I was overwhelmed at the effort after a long day in the bakery.  Went to bed and last night and wondered about the effort it was going to take to get 9 yards of breakable Tencel through heddles and reed.  Woke up this morning thinking about cutting it all off and winding that beautiful fragile warp into weft bobbins.
  And that's where it stands.  I have tomorrow off with tons to do before I go north to Virginia for a week, so this dilemma will be waiting for me when I return.  I hate that a warp and pattern that I loved so much proved unworthy!  But I have many more beautiful, much stronger warps waiting, with lots of promise for good weaving relationships.  I'll leave Johann D. and the beautiful warp on the loom for the week, and maybe by August, I'll know how to save it.  Or how to ditch it.  Life, and weaving, are full of possibilities!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

It's All Too Beautiful!

The great unwashed

If you read Loomy Tunes yesterday,,
 then you know about our dye-in at my house.  Lanny dyed a warp and a skein for me while I was dyeing wool, so the reveal this afternoon was a complete surprise to me.  And even though we've all done this quite a bit, it's usually still a surprise to unwrap everything after it's cured for 24 hours.
  Daydreaming about my rinse-out was what kept me going through scooping 630 cookies this afternoon.  Can't wait to see everything!  What's it going to look like?   What am I going to make with it all?  Oh, the excitement built to a fever pitch!
  I rushed home, but had to give Bella a bath first.  I found some new shampoo that promises to help her with itchy, yucky allergies.  Alas, I can hear her scratching now from across the house.  Sigh.
  Anyway, bath done and snuggling with fluffy towels over, I began to wash out the warps and skeins, small ones first.  One surprise led to another, and they were all pleasant.  True, I do wish the Chinese Red had stayed redder, but hey!  There's more dye and more yarn waiting for another day!

An aerial view


The lime green and yellow stuff is cotton-silk-nylon blend for a sweater to be knitted.  The dark blue variegated small one is a tencel warp for a scarf.  The long blue thing is a three-part warp I dyed using all the leftovers from everyone's experimenting, and will be a rep-weave placemat warp.  The long orange thing is a warp that will probably be turned overshot in Johann D's lovely daisy pattern.  The eggplant colored thing is my last skein undyed yesterday that I just dunked in the leftover eggplant.  I think it's tencel, and will be a lace knitted scarf.  The peachy stuff to the left is carpet warp, and was originally a warp I wound for Sheila who bought my loom, Nancy.  She was so overwhelmed that I decided not to give it to her, lest she become overly anxious about it.  Now it will probably be mug rugs for Christmas gifts.  The lovely variegated green is a warp of tencel that Lanny dyed.  He was worried that he used too much monochromatic themes, but since he didn't unwind my chains, the warps became more variegated than they would have otherwise.
  So now I have all this lovely, inspiring work ahead of me, and I couldn't be happier!  Unless I could just stay home and work on it...  Someone's got to win the lottery, right?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Doing-what-I-want-to Kind of Day

 A few weeks ago, LouAnn came over and went through my leftover knitting yarns to put together scarf warps.  She grabbed a plastic box and made a turquoise combo.  It was pretty, but a little too untidy for my a-type personality to warm up to.  I kept looking at the box of warp possibilities, thinking what a lovely sweater it would make.  Then I found some yarn I took home from de-stashing at Mom's that would stretch into an actual garment.
  Last night, my insomnia kicked in and I sat up looking through knitting magazines.  I found a pattern from several years ago that would be perfect, and one that I've always been curious about.  It's knitted in the round, to the armholes, stopped there to insert the armholes, then knitted to the center front.  The sleeves are knitted in the round from the armholes to the wrists.  It looks like fun, and you can see in the bottom left how far I've gotten in just this morning.

Unfortunately, other things are languishing.  I have a couch full of projects being neglected!  But it's so much fun!
  Later today, I will take gingersnaps to a 4th of July dinner to go with Pat's fruit salad, but for now, I will knit on!